4, Oct, 23

MTG Demonstrate, What is it, Best Cards

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The MTG Doctor Who Spoiler season that players have been waiting for has finally taken off, and players are super excited! While all the new cards getting revealed are rather interesting, one other thing is being made clear about the new Doctor Who Commander deck contents: these cards are seriously complex.

Tons of keywords are being thrown everywhere, including things like Horsemanship and Soulbond. Players who have engaged in MTG for quite some time won’t have an issue understanding what these are, but newer players who want to try Magic for the first time to create their Doctor Who episodes may be left a bit perplexed.

Yesterday, at the time of writing, a considerable portion of massive Doctor Who characters had their cards spoiled. This primarily consisted of Doctors and Doctor’s Companions. The Twelfth Doctor interacts with a particular rare keyword called Demonstrate. This mechanic has only popped up in Commander sets but has surprisingly impacted the Legacy format. Let’s take a look.

What is MTG Demonstrate?

Demonstrate is surprisingly easy to explain. Basically, a spell that has Demonstrate will have a trigger that occurs when the card is cast. When you cast a card with Demonstrate, you have a choice. You either gain a copy of the spell and give another player an extra copy of the Demonstrated spell, or do nothing.

In the situation where you choose to Demonstrate, one of your opponents will gain one copy of the Demonstrated spell. You will get two (the copy and the original). Otherwise, you will simply resolve your spell as if nothing happened (to be clear, you will still get your original copy of the Demonstrated spell).

This may not seem like a super fantastic keyword. Honestly, it probably isn’t. The Twelfth Doctor does give you a good incentive for Demonstrating your spells, though. Whenever you copy a spell, you get to grow The Twelfth Doctor, putting a +1/+1 counter on it.

This line of text gets a bit complex when considering Demonstrate. Do you just get one counter from your own copied spell, or do you get two since your spell got copied multiple times? To answer this question, let’s go the most powerful Demonstrate spell in all of MTG.

The Most Powerful Demonstrate Card

This is Creative Technique. Creative Technique created (all the puns intended) an entire new archetype in one of the most powerful two-player formats: Legacy. The deck is aptly titled Mississippi River, and, long story short, is designed around resolving a Creative Technique. A successfully resolved copy of this spell will generally either fetch you a free Emrakul, the Aeons Torn or basically cast your entire deck. Either way, your opponent is very screwed. You can read more about Mississippi River here.

In Legacy, Demonstrate is a big part of why Creative Technique is so effective. Trying to resolve one big spell like this (five mana is a lot in Legacy) can be pretty tough when Force of Will, a free counterspell, is everywhere. Demonstrate allows you to create a copy of Creative Technique, making countering two copies difficult. Sure, your opponent will occasionally flip something that ruins your day, but more often than not, they get one spell, and you get ALL of yours. It’s not a fair trade and is a fantastic trade you’re willing to make to get around Force of Will.

Anyway, you’ll notice that Demonstrate has explanation text on Creative Technique. That text reads as follows:

“When you cast this spell, you may copy it. If you do, choose an opponent to also copy it.”

Since the opponent owns the copied spell (they get to choose targets and whatnot), you are only copying the Demonstrated spell once. The Twelfth Doctor should only get one counter in this case. Of course, this copy ability won’t just trigger on Demonstrate. It will trigger on any copied spell, even through other means.

What Will You Demonstrate?

Up to this point, Demonstrate is a very rare keyword. There are only five MTG cards that, before The Twelfth Doctor, even mentioned the Demonstrate mechanic:

  • Creative Technique
  • Excavation Technique
  • Healing Technique
  • Incarnation Technique
  • Replication Technique

These five cards all originate from the Strixhaven: School of Mages Commander expansion, otherwise known as Commander 2021. Demonstrate seems like a pretty fitting mechanic for a Magic school theme since professors will be demonstrating lessons to students.

That’s all we have on Demonstrate for now! Hopefully, this article helped clear up any questions you had on the Twelfth Doctor’s rare mechanic! Like the time The Twelfth Doctor spent being a professor, you can now Demonstrate your new knowledge to others who may be new to the mechanic!

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